HOV/HOT Pilot Program Ending After METRO Board Reviews Results

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Release Date:        Nov. 19, 2015

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The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) is the region’s largest public transit provider, offering safe, reliable and affordable transportation services about 370,000 times per day. Besides operating more than 1,200 buses on a New Bus Network, METRORail's expanded system includes the Red Line (Main Street and Northline), Green Line (East End) and Purple Line (Southeast). METRO’s services also include: STAR VanpoolMETROLiftHOV lanesHOT lanesBikes-on-Buses/Trains program, Park & Ride, and road improvement projects. Learn more about METRO services at ridemetro.org where you will also find information about our T.R.I.P. app, Next Bus Arrival texting and the new digital, interactive rider tool METRO 360 [take a seat].  


METRO's HOV/HOT Pilot Project Ends November 30

A METRO pilot program which increased the operating hours of its HOV/HOT lanes on weekdays and expanded service to weekends will end Monday, Nov. 30, 2015.

METRO began the 90-day pilot program on July 1, 2015 to evaluate the effectiveness of extending weekday HOV/HOT hours of operation from 8 to 11 p.m. on weekdays for outbound traffic and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends for inbound traffic. The program was initially scheduled to last 90 days, but was extended to the end of November to give METRO and the Texas Transportation Institute more time to weigh customer reaction and evaluate usage of the lanes.

On Nov.16, 2015, METRO’s Board of Directors reviewed results of the study at its Public Safety, Customer Service, and Operations Committee Meeting. Based on use of the lanes during extended hours and weekends and associated costs, the committee recommended ending the program citing the mobility benefit was not significant enough to outweigh the value of utilizing funds for other services.

Results showed extending HOV/HOT lane operating hours did not reduce congestion as main lanes were not congested during pilot hours. Travel  time savings was negligible, averaging only 0 to 2 minutes. Utilization of the lanes was also low during pilot hours. The weekday extension, for example, averaged 657 vehicles each day (in all five corridors), well below average peak hours. Weekends averaged 2,812 vehicles each day.

METRO staff will continue to review operations of the lanes and the possibility of extended hours on certain HOV/HOT corridors.

More information on hours of operation for METRO’s HOV/HOT lanes can be found here.